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Medical News & Perspectives
June 12, 2013

Chest Physicians Recommend CT Screening for Lung Cancer Only for Older Smokers

JAMA. 2013;309(22):2314. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6949

High-risk individuals should be screened for lung cancer with computed tomography (CT), according to new guidelines from the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). New findings from a major clinical trial prompted the group to recommend such screening for older smokers and former long-time smokers.

The third edition of the ACCP's guidelines for the diagnosis and management of lung cancer, released on May 7, recommended offering low-dose CT scanning for lung cancer screening for individuals aged 55 to 74 years who have smoked for 30 pack-years or more and either continue to smoke or have quit within the past 15 years (http://tinyurl.com/bwdp9hk). (A pack-year is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes every day for a year.) An estimated 7 million people in the United States would be eligible for lung CT screening, which can detect cancers when they are smaller and easier to treat.